Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas at Joanna Furnace

The third of the "must see" events at Joanna Furnace is the "Christmas at Joanna". Usually the first full weekend in December when the weather can be unpredictable.

About 3:00PM Saturday afternoon, it started snowing and since it was below freezing, it stuck. Fortunately, it was a gradual snow, so if you needed to get home you had a window of opportunity before it got nasty, which it did. Years ago I bought an AWD crossover and on nights like this one, I'm glad I have it. Not that if affords you the foolish option to ignore the conditions, but AWD does give added confidence and can help prevent a situation. On SR10 to Joanna Furnace other cars weren't as fortunate for they were spinning on the hills and even off the road completely.

With the drive behind us, the Joanna Furnace was even more seasonal then ever. A light snow blanketed the grounds and immediately put every one in the Christmas spirit. Hundreds of luminaries marked the roads and paths throughout the furnace.

A small fire was lit for the three wise men and their llamas (in lieu of camels) and another for the shoppers of crafts and food, while a huge bonfire was the center piece for story telling. The "living" manger is a reminder of the true spirit of Christmas.

In the woodworking barn, older gentlemen demonstrated period skills. A horse drawn wagon with a full load of passengers clopped past and was faintly visible in woods where you could see the kids catching snow flakes in their open mouths. Carollers walked around singing and period dressed men and women brought back the tradition of Christmas' long ago.

Hitting the spot on a cold night was the hot mulled cider and soft pretzel combo. Hot chocolate, coffee and soup were the other tempting options. Another warm escape is inside the decorated stone building were period women offering stories and cookie treats for all who wanted.

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